Gold! Much of Alaska was populated during the late 1800's when gold was discovered. Alaska and the Yukon saw a huge influx of people migrating to the region during 1896-1899 as the news of gold had spread to the desperate prospectors of San Francisco and Seattle. Over 100,000 people came in a literal stampede, and the journey was only beginning for many once they took the week long voyage up the Inside Passage and set foot in Alaska. For those wanting to seek their fortunes in the Klondike, that meant a several hundred mile trek and a Canadian mandated regulation of at least one full year's supply of food in order to prevent starvation. For some, that meant taking multiple trips just to get all of their supplies to their camp. Prospectors sought all the help they could from dog teams, and donkeys. It wasn't long before the introduction of horses began to take hold in the region, as they could withstand the treacherous trail, harsh weather, and could pack a bigger load in comparison.
Photo sourced from Wikipedia, "Klondike Gold Rush"
In Skagway, Alaska, at the head of the Chilkoot Trail, horses were being sold for nearly $20,000 in today's dollars, and a decent horse could be rented for over $1,100 per day! Horses were in high demand, they were being shipped up as fast as gold was being shipped south! Since then, the need for horses has shifted and has now become a pastime, hobby, recreation, or a beloved family member. There are now show competitions, and horse camps throughout the region. No doubt an easier life than their ancestors who were left to rot at Deadhorse Camp! Horses are now seen throughout much of Alaska and Canada, and there is even a small heard of wild horses in Unalaska!
Photo sourced from Wikipedia, "Klondike Gold Rush"
There are a handful of places you can ride in Juneau, Alaska and many require that you load your horse into a trailer in order to access these locations. There are two privately owned horse facilities in the area, Fairweather Equestrian Center, and Swampy Acres. There is a third, Echo Ranch, however that is another private facility at the most northern part of Juneau and not easily accessible. Both Fairweather and Swampy Acres are situated near Industrial Blvd and Pederson Hill, just north of the Mendenhall River. The best trails in that area can be accessed at the Brotherhood Bridge Trailhead, and at the end of Industrial Blvd for the Mendenhall Wetlands. You'll have several miles worth of fields, and in July, walking amongst the fireweed is pretty magical! Not to mention the Mendenhall Glacier watching over your every move, it's hard to beat. However, you must beware as most of these trails are walked by people and their dogs, something to be cautious over especially since most dogs are not use to seeing horses!
Other places to ride that are great for horses include Eagle Beach, and Herbert Glacier Trail, both approximately 26 miles north of Juneau and again you must trailer your horse out to these locations. But once there you can have an all day ride with little interruptions and some of the most scenic views in the world!
As far as finding a horse to ride while in Juneau? Very limited! But if you know a friend who owns one, you might stand a chance. It's with anything in Alaska, get a boat first, then learn to drive it. Buy an airplane, learn to fly it. Buy a horse, learn to ride it! That's what gives Alaska it's charm I suppose. The drive to get things done whether it's for work, the glory, or recreation. Who cares if you're on step one or two ;)
For today's shoot, we are riding Western as the conditions out were a little hazardous - actually they were horrendous! My hair went flat in less than five seconds haha. If it were any other day I would have ridden indoors, however when fresh flowers are flown in from down south and babysitters are available; no wind, rain, or frigid temperatures could keep us away! We worked in collaboration with a brand new floral shop in Juneau, Frenchies Floral, and my favorite photographer, Sydney Akagi! I met with the florist the day before to go over outfits so that Rebecca could create pieces that paired well. So the shoot was really about celebrating beautiful things; horses, fashion, and flowers!
We were very fortunate to borrow Mr. Higgins, a Haflinger with the best hair this side of the Canadian Border. He's got quite the personality and can sniff out snacks a mile away. His owner, Chava takes him on rides daily and spends hours grooming out his luscious locks while he kicks the barn door in anticipation for his dinner. He's definitely a prince, and that's probably why we all like him so much ;)
What to wear in Spring: Layers!!
- Light t-shirt
- Outer Coat
- Comfortable pants or jeans with stretch
- Riding Helmet
What to pack:
- Snacks for you and your horse!
- A new outfit when the one you're wearing either blows off or becomes soaked!
An Editorial Look
For these look we paired the ever flattering, ever comfortable Black Farrow DL1961 Jean. I wore the True Gathering Top, as it's the perfect combination of cotton and linen, keeping me warm without weighing me down! There is light embroidered embellishment on the button down to keep it unique and beautiful.
Veronica wore the Black Farrow DL1961 Denim as well and paired it with the Monumental Sweater as the fit and color stand out beautifully.
We styled the tops with wool blankets and belted them with belts from my Grandmother's closet! I wanted to showcase two casual seeming tops and elevate the looks to more of an editorial look.
Shop the look at the bottom of the post!
A Practical Look
For these looks we went very casual, like if the weather had been half decent and spring had actually been in the air! For myself, I styled the Cut Out Tunic and layered it with the Canyon Flannel accessorized with some flowers and of course DL1961 Premium Denim, the Emma Power Legging.
For Veronica's look, we went with the Smoky Lips Crop Top, the Lumberjack Flannel and the coziest cardigan around! She paired the look with the Farrow Ankle Crop from DL961 for a spring time look!
We both wore XtraTuffs since this is the Southeast Sneaker and really the most practical boot for this type of weather and day.
Shop the Looks at the bottom of this post!
**We didn't actually get to go trail riding since the weather was so terrible, definitely Juneau on one of its rumored days! However we do have more adventures planned for Higgins to show off his bohemian side! **
Just following in the Gold Rusher's foot steps, whiskey keeps the blood warm and the horses happy :D
Shop the Look
Locals, have you ridden elsewhere?
Visitors, how do our outfits compare to your horseback riding attire?
Get out there,
"Herbert Glacier Trail - The Local's Glacier Stroll." Adventure Flow. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
"Klondike Gold Rush." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Apr. 2017. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
Meyers, Audrey. "The Horses of Summer Bay." Dangerously Daydreaming. N.p., 24 May 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.